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    supply and demand are powerful forces in a free market. in four to five sentences, explain some of the factors that cause shifts in supply and demand and what the effects of these shifts are.

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    3.2 Shifts in Demand and Supply for Goods and Services – Principles of Economics

    3.2 Shifts in Demand and Supply for Goods and Services

    Learning Objectives

    By the end of this section, you will be able to:

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    What Factors Affect Demand?

    We defined demand as the amount of some product a consumer is willing and able to purchase at each price. That suggests at least two factors in addition to price that affect demand. Willingness to purchase suggests a desire, based on what economists call tastes and preferences. If you neither need nor want something, you will not buy it. Ability to purchase suggests that income is important. Professors are usually able to afford better housing and transportation than students, because they have more income. Prices of related goods can affect demand also. If you need a new car, the price of a Honda may affect your demand for a Ford. Finally, the size or composition of the population can affect demand. The more children a family has, the greater their demand for clothing. The more driving-age children a family has, the greater their demand for car insurance, and the less for diapers and baby formula.

    A demand curve or a supply curve is a relationship between two, and only two, variables: quantity on the horizontal axis and price on the vertical axis. The assumption behind a demand curve or a supply curve is that no relevant economic factors, other than the product’s price, are changing. Economists call this assumption ceteris paribus, a Latin phrase meaning “other things being equal.” Any given demand or supply curve is based on the ceteris paribus assumption that all else is held equal. A demand curve or a supply curve is a relationship between two, and only two, variables when all other variables are kept constant. If all else is not held equal, then the laws of supply and demand will not necessarily hold, as the following Clear It Up feature shows.

    Ceteris paribus is typically applied when we look at how changes in price affect demand or supply, but ceteris paribus can be applied more generally. In the real world, demand and supply depend on more factors than just price. For example, a consumer’s demand depends on income and a producer’s supply depends on the cost of producing the product. How can we analyze the effect on demand or supply if multiple factors are changing at the same time—say price rises and income falls? The answer is that we examine the changes one at a time, assuming the other factors are held constant.

    How Does Income Affect Demand?

    Let’s use income as an example of how factors other than price affect demand. Figure 1 shows the initial demand for automobiles as D0. At point Q, for example, if the price is $20,000 per car, the quantity of cars demanded is 18 million. D0 also shows how the quantity of cars demanded would change as a result of a higher or lower price. For example, if the price of a car rose to $22,000, the quantity demanded would decrease to 17 million, at point R.

    The original demand curve D0, like every demand curve, is based on the ceteris paribus assumption that no other economically relevant factors change. Now imagine that the economy expands in a way that raises the incomes of many people, making cars more affordable. How will this affect demand? How can we show this graphically?

    Return to Figure 1. The price of cars is still $20,000, but with higher incomes, the quantity demanded has now increased to 20 million cars, shown at point S. As a result of the higher income levels, the demand curve shifts to the right to the new demand curve D1, indicating an increase in demand. Table 4 shows clearly that this increased demand would occur at every price, not just the original one.

    The graph shows demand curve D sub 0 as the original demand curve. Demand curve D sub 1 represents a shift based on increased income. Demand curve D sub 2 represents a shift based on decreased income.

    Now, imagine that the economy slows down so that many people lose their jobs or work fewer hours, reducing their incomes. In this case, the decrease in income would lead to a lower quantity of cars demanded at every given price, and the original demand curve D0 would shift left to D2. The shift from D0 to D2 represents such a decrease in demand: At any given price level, the quantity demanded is now lower. In this example, a price of $20,000 means 18 million cars sold along the original demand curve, but only 14.4 million sold after demand fell.

    When a demand curve shifts, it does not mean that the quantity demanded by every individual buyer changes by the same amount. In this example, not everyone would have higher or lower income and not everyone would buy or not buy an additional car. Instead, a shift in a demand curve captures an pattern for the market as a whole.

    In the previous section, we argued that higher income causes greater demand at every price. This is true for most goods and services. For some—luxury cars, vacations in Europe, and fine jewelry—the effect of a rise in income can be especially pronounced. A product whose demand rises when income rises, and vice versa, is called a normal good. A few exceptions to this pattern do exist. As incomes rise, many people will buy fewer generic brand groceries and more name brand groceries. They are less likely to buy used cars and more likely to buy new cars. They will be less likely to rent an apartment and more likely to own a home, and so on. A product whose demand falls when income rises, and vice versa, is called an inferior good. In other words, when income increases, the demand curve shifts to the left.

    Other Factors That Shift Demand Curves

    Income is not the only factor that causes a shift in demand. Other things that change demand include tastes and preferences, the composition or size of the population, the prices of related goods, and even expectations. A change in any one of the underlying factors that determine what quantity people are willing to buy at a given price will cause a shift in demand. Graphically, the new demand curve lies either to the right (an increase) or to the left (a decrease) of the original demand curve. Let’s look at these factors.

    From 1980 to 2014, the per-person consumption of chicken by Americans rose from 48 pounds per year to 85 pounds per year, and consumption of beef fell from 77 pounds per year to 54 pounds per year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Changes like these are largely due to movements in taste, which change the quantity of a good demanded at every price: that is, they shift the demand curve for that good, rightward for chicken and leftward for beef.

    Shift in Demand

    A shift in demand means that at any price (and at every price), the quantity demanded will be different than it was before. Following is an example of a shift in demand due to an income increase.

    Step 1. Draw the graph of a demand curve for a normal good like pizza. Pick a price (like P0). Identify the corresponding Q0. An example is shown in Figure 2.

    The graph represents the directions for step 1.A demand curve shows how much consumers would be willing to buy at any given price.

    Step 2. Suppose income increases. As a result of the change, are consumers going to buy more or less pizza? The answer is more. Draw a dotted horizontal line from the chosen price, through the original quantity demanded, to the new point with the new Q1. Draw a dotted vertical line down to the horizontal axis and label the new Q1. An example is provided in Figure 3.

    The graph represents the directions for step 2. With an increased income, consumers will wish to buy a higher quantity (Q sub 1) than they bought with a lower income.

    The graph represents the directions for step 3. An increased income results in an increase in demand, which is shown by a rightward shift in the demand curve.

    Summing Up Factors That Change Demand

    The graph on the left lists events that could lead to increased demand. The graph on the right lists events that could lead to decreased demand.

    When a demand curve shifts, it will then intersect with a given supply curve at a different equilibrium price and quantity. We are, however, getting ahead of our story. Before discussing how changes in demand can affect equilibrium price and quantity, we first need to discuss shifts in supply curves.

    How Production Costs Affect Supply

    A supply curve shows how quantity supplied will change as the price rises and falls, assuming ceteris paribus so that no other economically relevant factors are changing. If other factors relevant to supply do change, then the entire supply curve will shift. Just as a shift in demand is represented by a change in the quantity demanded at every price, a shift in supply means a change in the quantity supplied at every price.

    In thinking about the factors that affect supply, remember what motivates firms: profits, which are the difference between revenues and costs. Goods and services are produced using combinations of labor, materials, and machinery, or what we call inputs or factors of production. If a firm faces lower costs of production, while the prices for the good or service the firm produces remain unchanged, a firm’s profits go up. When a firm’s profits increase, it is more motivated to produce output, since the more it produces the more profit it will earn. So, when costs of production fall, a firm will tend to supply a larger quantity at any given price for its output. This can be shown by the supply curve shifting to the right.

    Take, for example, a messenger company that delivers packages around a city. The company may find that buying gasoline is one of its main costs. If the price of gasoline falls, then the company will find it can deliver messages more cheaply than before. Since lower costs correspond to higher profits, the messenger company may now supply more of its services at any given price. For example, given the lower gasoline prices, the company can now serve a greater area, and increase its supply.

    Conversely, if a firm faces higher costs of production, then it will earn lower profits at any given selling price for its products. As a result, a higher cost of production typically causes a firm to supply a smaller quantity at any given price. In this case, the supply curve shifts to the left.

    Consider the supply for cars, shown by curve S0 in Figure 6. Point J indicates that if the price is $20,000, the quantity supplied will be 18 million cars. If the price rises to $22,000 per car, ceteris paribus, the quantity supplied will rise to 20 million cars, as point K on the S0 curve shows. The same information can be shown in table form, as in Table 5.

    The graph shows supply curve S sub 0 as the original supply curve. Supply curve S sub 1 represents a shift based on decreased supply. Supply curve S sub 2 represents a shift based on increased supply.

    Now, imagine that the price of steel, an important ingredient in manufacturing cars, rises, so that producing a car has become more expensive. At any given price for selling cars, car manufacturers will react by supplying a lower quantity. This can be shown graphically as a leftward shift of supply, from S0 to S1, which indicates that at any given price, the quantity supplied decreases. In this example, at a price of $20,000, the quantity supplied decreases from 18 million on the original supply curve (S0) to 16.5 million on the supply curve S1, which is labeled as point L.

    Conversely, if the price of steel decreases, producing a car becomes less expensive. At any given price for selling cars, car manufacturers can now expect to earn higher profits, so they will supply a higher quantity. The shift of supply to the right, from S0 to S2, means that at all prices, the quantity supplied has increased. In this example, at a price of $20,000, the quantity supplied increases from 18 million on the original supply curve (S0) to 19.8 million on the supply curve S2, which is labeled M.

    Other Factors That Affect Supply

    In the example above, we saw that changes in the prices of inputs in the production process will affect the cost of production and thus the supply. Several other things affect the cost of production, too, such as changes in weather or other natural conditions, new technologies for production, and some government policies.

    The cost of production for many agricultural products will be affected by changes in natural conditions. For example, in 2014 the Manchurian Plain in Northeastern China, which produces most of the country’s wheat, corn, and soybeans, experienced its most severe drought in 50 years. A drought decreases the supply of agricultural products, which means that at any given price, a lower quantity will be supplied; conversely, especially good weather would shift the supply curve to the right.

    Government policies can affect the cost of production and the supply curve through taxes, regulations, and subsidies. For example, the U.S. government imposes a tax on alcoholic beverages that collects about $8 billion per year from producers. Taxes are treated as costs by businesses. Higher costs decrease supply for the reasons discussed above. Other examples of policy that can affect cost are the wide array of government regulations that require firms to spend money to provide a cleaner environment or a safer workplace; complying with regulations increases costs.

    A government subsidy, on the other hand, is the opposite of a tax. A subsidy occurs when the government pays a firm directly or reduces the firm’s taxes if the firm carries out certain actions. From the firm’s perspective, taxes or regulations are an additional cost of production that shifts supply to the left, leading the firm to produce a lower quantity at every given price. Government subsidies reduce the cost of production and increase supply at every given price, shifting supply to the right. The following Work It Out feature shows how this shift happens.

    Shift in Supply

    We know that a supply curve shows the minimum price a firm will accept to produce a given quantity of output. What happens to the supply curve when the cost of production goes up? Following is an example of a shift in supply due to a production cost increase.

    Step 1. Draw a graph of a supply curve for pizza. Pick a quantity (like Q0). If you draw a vertical line up from Q0 to the supply curve, you will see the price the firm chooses. An example is shown in Figure 7.

    The graph represents the directions for step 1. A supply curve shows the minimum price a firm will accept (P sub 0) to supply a given quantity of output (Q sub 0).

    The graph represents the directions for step 2. For a given quantity of output (Q sub 0), the firm wishes to charge a price (P sub 0) equal to the cost of production plus the desired profit margin.

    The graph represents the directions for step 3. An increase in production cost will raise the price a firm wishes to charge (to P sub 1) for a given quantity of output (Q sub 0).

    The graph represents the directions for step 4. An increase in the cost of production will shift the supply curve vertically by the amount of the cost increase.

    Summing Up Factors That Change Supply

    Changes in the cost of inputs, natural disasters, new technologies, and the impact of government decisions all affect the cost of production. In turn, these factors affect how much firms are willing to supply at any given price.

    The graph on the left lists events that could lead to increased supply. The graph on the right lists events that could lead to decreased supply.

    Because demand and supply curves appear on a two-dimensional diagram with only price and quantity on the axes, an unwary visitor to the land of economics might be fooled into believing that economics is about only four topics: demand, supply, price, and quantity. However, demand and supply are really “umbrella” concepts: demand covers all the factors that affect demand, and supply covers all the factors that affect supply. Factors other than price that affect demand and supply are included by using shifts in the demand or the supply curve. In this way, the two-dimensional demand and supply model becomes a powerful tool for analyzing a wide range of economic circumstances.

    Key Concepts and Summary

    Self-Check Questions

    Review Questions

    Critical Thinking Questions

    Problems

    References

    National Chicken Council. 2015. “Per Capita Consumption of Poultry and Livestock, 1965 to Estimated 2015, in Pounds.” Accessed April 13, 2015. http://www.nationalchickencouncil.org/about-the-industry/statistics/per-capita-consumption-of-poultry-and-livestock-1965-to-estimated-2012-in-pounds/.

    Glossary

    Solutions

    3.2 Shifts in Demand and Supply for Goods and Services – Principles of Economics

    Source : opentextbc.ca

    How demand and supply determine market price

    It is truly a balance of the market components. To understand why the balance must occur, examine what happens when there is no balance, such as when market price is below that shown as P in Image 1.

    At any price below P, the quantity demanded is greater than the quantity supplied. In such a situation, consumers would clamour for a product that producers would not be willing to supply; a shortage would exist. In this event, consumers would choose to pay a higher price in order to get the product they want, while producers would be encouraged by a higher price to bring more of the product onto the market.

    The end result is a rise in price, to P, where supply and demand are in balance. Similarly, if a price above P were chosen arbitrarily, the market would be in surplus with too much supply relative to demand. If that were to happen, producers would be willing to take a lower price in order to sell, and consumers would be induced by lower prices to increase their purchases. Only when the price falls would balance be restored.

    A market price is not necessarily a fair price, it is merely an outcome. It does not guarantee total satisfaction on the part of buyer and seller. Typically, some assumptions about the behaviour of buyers and sellers are made, which add a sense of reason to a market price. For example, buyers are expected to be self-interested and, although they may not have perfect knowledge, at least they will try to look out for their own interests. Meanwhile, sellers are considered to be profit maximizers. This assumption limits their willingness to sell to within a price range, high to low, where they can stay in business.

    Change in equilibrium price

    When a bumper crop develops, supply shifts outward and downward, shown as S2 in Image 2, more product is available over the full range of prices. With no immediate change in consumers' willingness to buy crops, there is a movement along the demand curve to a new equilibrium. Consumers will buy more but only at a lower price. How much the price must fall to induce consumers to purchase the greater supply depends upon the elasticity of demand.

    How demand and supply determine market price

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